Shengmu Organic, China's largest organic dairy player, is seeking to raise up to HK$1.3bn (US$169m, €124m) through an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in Hong Kong.
Sponsored by Goldman Sachs and BOC International, the IPO opened yesterday with an offer of 444.8m shares priced at between HK$2.39 (US$0.31, €0.26) and HK$2.95 (US$0.38, €0.28).
Through the initial offering , which will remain open until July 7 2014, Shengmu Organic could raise between HK$1.063bn (US$137m, €100m) and HK$1.312bn (US$169m, €124m) - much of which will be spent expanding the dairy's milk production.
Around a tenth of the offer shares - 44.48m to be exact - will be offered in Hong Kong and the rest internationally. An extra 66.72m shares could be issued in a follow-up offering, Shengmu said.
Bau Hua, a subsidiary of COFCO Agricultural Industrial Equity Investment Fund, has committed to buying US$30m (HK$232.5m, €21.9m) worth of shares, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Shengmu Organic will float on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on July 15 2014.
As well marketing around 20,700 tonnes of liquid dairy products in 2013, Shengmu Organic supplied more than 68,500 tonnes of organic raw milk and nearly 111,5000 tonnes of unpasteurized milk to the likes of Mengniu, Yili, and Want Want.
While supplying raw milk currently accounts for a larger proportion of its business, the organic milk is produces is "increasingly sold after processing as liquid milk products under our Shengmu brand," said the company in a post offering information pack.
In line with increasing demand from consumers and its customers, Shengmu Organic intends to plough around a quarter of the cash raised through the IPO into the construction of six new dairy farms over the next 18 months.
The firm also plans to invest 30% of the raised capital to increase its herd of more than 91,000 cows - 30,621 across 13 organic farms and 60,457 on its 12 non-organic sites - by 15,000 in 2014 in 2015.
What's remaining will be set aside to expand its milk processing capabilities (15%), to repay its bank borrowings (15%), on marketing and promotions (5%), and to top up its general working capital (10%).